Housing is one of the requirements in human life (not true!). Therefore, it greatly influences the day to day life of citizens in a country as well as the country’s economy. As a result of its importance, there should be secure policies in the state that protect citizens against exploitation and the economy of the nation This is not a neutral statement of the evidence (Turis, 2011). Good housing provided with essential social amenities means healthy lives for the citizens since they will be enjoying all the services. Poor housing, for instance, can result in health issues for the individuals of a given society. Crime rates are also found to be higher in places with inadequate housing and this becomes a threat may be a threat to the security of the community. The housing policy,?????? therefore, was formed so as to address the housing challenges facing the nation and its citizens (Turis, 2011).
indent To deal with the housing problems (what housing problems?) the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program (The correct name is Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. § 1437f) was established in 1974 as the Housing Act (Turis, 2011). This housing policy enables low income earners to pay for houses of their choice in the private market. The state funds the program and as a result, it benefits over five million low-income families as it enables them to pay for the housing with ease. Provision of the vouchers is one of the policies ways in which the state addresses the housing problem for its citizens (Turis, 2011). Compared to other policies such as…., vouchers provide a wider range of shelter and they are less expensive. For the low-income earners to use the vouchers, the kind of houses they find should not exceed the maximum allowable rent by the vouchers and must be in line with the program policies. The program also covers a wide variety of houses which include single family home; this was aimed at small families. Apartments and houses in towns are also covered by the program. This description of the HCV is not clear.
indent The housing voucher programs is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (Kotz, 2012). Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) are the ones responsible for carrying out the local programs outlines (Kotz, 2012). The mode of operation of this program is that an individual finds a suitable house for them to live and they pay rent to the landlords. The subsidy for the rent is paid by the PHAs to the owners of the house directly, and the person receiving such voucher will have to pay the remaining amount of money to the landlord (Kotz, 2012). Therefore, in this program, the kind of benefits the citizens receive is subsidies on the rent they pay to the owners. A Certain amount is paid by the PHAs on the behalf of the low-income families, which makes houses relatively cheaper for citizens to choose where they want to live.
The funding of such policies requires a lot of money and it is state funded. Since its role is to improve the wellbeing of the citizens is it????, the state allocates finances in every financial year so as to cater for the less privileged in the society. In this regard, the primary source of funds used in this project is revenue collected by the state and other grants from the government (Kotz, 2012). The allocation of the funding of such vouchers is based on several factors, including the number of vouchers used in the previous year. Inflation in the country is also taken into consideration when allocating such vouchers to the citizens as well as the cost of administration. Congress is responsible for the allocations of funds for this program in every financial year as well as renewing of the existing vouchers (Kotz, 2012).
Reasons for the policy
The Housing Voucher plan was designed so as to address the social gap in the population of the United States. This was designed so as to aid the low-income earners to be able to afford a decent life. The homeless and also those internally displaced benefited from the vouchers. For low-income families, the coupon can help by paying up to 30% of the rent for them (Van Zandt & Mhatre, 2013). Therefore, HCV promotes social equality for the citizens in the country such as people with disabilities and elderly people. These group of people, therefore, are the ones who necessitated the formation and implementation of this policy so as to bridge the disparity between the citizens. The primary goal that led to the formation of this voucher program policy by the government was to help its citizens since the private sector had consistently failed to provide decent houses for the low income families. This program was conceptualized in 1937 as the National Housing Act. Several attempts to provide state-owned houses for the low-income earners and the immigrants were never successful as several factors were hindering its implementations (Van Zandt & Mhatre, 2013). Subsidies were, introduced so as to tackle the challenge of lack of decent houses for the low-income earners. It has gone a long way in enabling more than one million elderly people and people with disabilities to afford decent housing. Over two million families with children also had benefitted from the program by the year 2009 (Van Zandt & Mhatre, 2013).
The housing voucher program has undergone significant transformation since its inception in 1974. All the structural changes were geared towards making the program more beneficial to the citizens of the United States. In 1974 the housing and community development act allowed for the formation of the Section 8 program that included the new and the existing forms (Van Zandt & Mhatre, 2013). In the current plan, the subsidies were to be introduced and were managed by the PHAs. The Housing and Community Development Act of 1987 made the voucher policy in housing subsidies formal. This, therefore, meant that low income earning families had choices on where to live as there were no limitations on this program. In the year 1998, the Voucher Programs and Rental Certificates were merged and thus Housing choice voucher programs as from the year 1999. The above changes have taken place since the policy was implemented (Van Zandt & Mhatre, 2013).
Over time, the modification and the implementation of this policy has faced several challenges. One of these challenges is inadequate funds, and thus many low income families cannot benefit from the plan making them live in slums. Controversially one of the shortcomings of this policy is that it has led to increased government spending as federal funds have to be allocated to the program (Temkin, 2013). This will decrease the development of other sectors such as education and healthcare as this is a recurrent expenditure to the state. Individuals earning less than 80 % of the median income were supposed to qualify for the vouchers, however, the poorest applicants are the only ones benefiting and thus many applicants are excluded (Temkin, 2013). This can be attributed to inadequate funding by the federal government. As a result, there is a high concentration of poverty in the United States. Low income earners have limited choices for their houses especially as they always prefer to stay in areas familiar to them (Temkin, 2013).
Other challenges in the implementation of the voucher policy include some landlords failing to accept the vouchers. This phenomenon is common in wealthy neighborhoods as compared to the poor localities (Temkin, 2013). This has posed a challenge to low income earners as citizens are forced to stay in the poorest regions. Discrimination by the landlords also posed a significant threat in the implementation of the housing voucher policy. The end result is segregation of the population into classes, which leads to poverty concentration in particular areas only and hence dilapidated living standards such as poor social amenities and poor infrastructure. In addressing the challenges, more stringent policy has to be put in place so as to ensure that majority of the population that need the vouchers are taken care of. Different states should also put in place measures that allow individuals to live in houses of their choice without any barriers and restrictions from the landlords. Other alternative policies to the housing vouchers need to be developed so as to help reduce the effect of poverty concentration in particular environs only.
The Government always put several measures in place to ensure that citizens have decent lives. These measures include various housing policies that allow the citizens to access decent houses at affordable prices (Graves, 2015). As a result, it is necessary to make sure that the cost of housing is manageable and that houses are available for the citizens. Several changes have been made to the housing policies so as to enable the low-income earners access to the apartments at a subsidized cost by the federal government (Graves, 2015). Among the several housing policies in the United States which include….., the Housing Voucher Program is the largest of them all, with about two million low-income earners benefitting from the program.
The policy further is friendly to the residents as it always allows them to make choices on where they want to live in privately owned houses as long as it is within the stipulated limits. As a result of this, the policy is designed with greater flexibility and freedom of choice in housing. The administration of the plan is run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the management of the subsidies is done locally by the PHAs (Graves, 2015). In these policies, HUDs and PHAs are responsible for various factors, and among them is the determining the eligibility of different individuals into this program (Graves, 2015). After the eligible persons are identified, it is then necessary to compile the list. The vouchers are awarded based on the neediest benefiting first. The waiting list then has to be managed by the PHAs in subsequent financial years (Graves, 2015).
Other responsibilities of PHAs in the implementation of the policy include approval of units that the beneficiaries can live in, as well as inspection of the housing and determining the quality of such houses. The payment of the subsidy is also made by the PHAs as well as liaising with the landlords in case of any emergencies in their buildings (Graves, 2015). For the voucher program to be implemented, several steps are involved. The first step is a selection of eligible families based on their income. The housing units that can qualify to fall under this program are then identified and inspection on them is done (Graves, 2015). If the houses satisfy all the set standards, they are approved, and the contract is signed with the homeowners. An annual inspection is done on such buildings so as to ensure that they meet set standards.
The use of rental vouchers has offered several benefits to the low-income earners as well as to the federal government (Desmond, 2016). This program is cheaper per unit as compared to other policies. For instance, compared to building residential apartments by the government for the poor, the voucher program is more affordable (Desmond, 2016). Building new houses is very expensive as they will be costly to the state. It also means the poor will be concentrated only in particular localities and that acts as a form of discrimination as they will be excluded from the middle and high-income neighborhood. Management of these funds is also simple as it only involves single agencies the PHAs. The unit becomes less costly to manage compared to other programs.
The flexibility of the policy is also another positive effect of the voucher program. Low-income earners have the choice to live in places of their choosing without fear as the program subsidizes the rents (Desmond, 2016). This has enabled the low-income citizens to access various utilities and thus improving their living standards. In addition, the well-being of the low-income earners is improved since the power rates in the country are minimized. Other vices associated with low-income earners such as robbery and other forms of crimes are reduced. Is crime higher or lower in areas where the HCV is accepted? This, therefore, helps in boosting the security of the United States (Desmond, 2016).
Even though the program can be considered to be successful, it has its limitations to the individuals as well as the economy of the United States (Desmond, 2016). This is because those who receive the subsidy will remain in public houses for long so that they can enjoy the policy. This will hinder the development of the cities as the investors are discouraged from upgrading the standards of houses in the towns (Desmond, 2016). As a result of this, therefore, there is less development taking place in cities, and hence low standards of housing dominate over time. Some house owners also tend to make use of the program as this is an active source of income to them and it accounts for the larger percentage of the rent. This, therefore, indicates that the vouchers have not helped to eliminate the problem, but rather transformed it (Desmond, 2016). In this regard, building a better and motivated society, this policy has to be changed so as to make low-income earners learn to be more responsible in paying their rent. For instance, the subsidy can only be emphasized on the physically challenged and the homeless individuals or migrants. As a result, the low-income earners will learn to be responsible and hence improve their living standards (Desmond, 2016). This is unclear
In conclusion, therefore, it can be viewed that several housing policies are put in place by the federal government. The voucher system can be considered as the largest of them all with many citizens from different races and of different ages benefiting. The impact of the policy on the low-income earners is found to be great as their accessibility to social amenities is significantly improved. Segregation of communities based on their income is also minimized by the policy and thus making the citizens share a common platform. Elderly people and physically challenged individuals are not neglected as they are taken care of by the scheme. This, therefore, enables the citizens to have a peaceful and enjoyable life. The research paper, therefore, illustrates well the importance of the policy. However, there are some few shortcomings in the research as not all the data and information required are readily and adequately available. Such as????? The effects of the policy on the state and its citizens nevertheless are expounded by the research paper.
References This page is not formatted correctly
Desmond, M. &. (2016). Are landlords overcharging housing voucher holders. city and community, 15(2) 137-162 doi 10.111/cico.12180.
Graves, E. (2015). Rooms for improvement: A qualitative metasynthesis of the housing choice voucher program. housing policy debate, 26(2) 346-361 doi:10.1080/10511482.2015.1072573.
Kotz, R. (2012). The spatial concentration of subsidized housing . New Jersey: New Brunswick Rutgers .
Temkin, K. T. (2013). Sharing equality with future generations. An evaluation of long term affordable homeownership program in the U.S. housing studies , 28(4), 553-578 doi:10.1080/02673037.2013.759541.
Turis, N. (2011). Poverty deconcentration, housing mobility, and the construction of recent U.S housing policy. Delaware: University of Delaware.
Van Zandt, S., & Mhatre, P. (2013). The effect of housing choice voucher household on neighborhood crime. longitudinal evidence from Dallas. Poverty & Public Policy, 5(3) 229-249 doi:10.1002/pop4.36.